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Authority record
Corporate body

American Lutheran Church

  • ELCA 1.9
  • Corporate body
  • 1930-1987

The American Lutheran Church (ALC) was formed through a merger of the Ohio and Iowa Synods, followed by the Buffalo Synod, in 1930. Over the next decades, the ALC began partnerships with other Lutheran synods. This joint group, referred to as the American Lutheran Federation, laid the foundation for a merger in 1960. This merger brought together the United Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church with the ALC, unifying the three largest groups of Lutheran immigrant communities (Danish, Norwegian, and German). The ALC adopted a strong centralized synodical system consisting of 13 geographical districts. In 1987, the ALC merged with the Association of Lutheran Churches and the Lutheran Church in American to form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

Ascension Lutheran Church (Seattle, Washington)

  • ELCA 7.2.13
  • Corporate body
  • 1954-1986

This congregation was organized as a mission by the Lutheran Free Church on October 31, 1954. Known first as Sand Point Heights Church, construction of the first unit began in April of 1963, and first services were held in the basement in October of that year. Rev. Lester Dahlen, who was pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church in Seattle, served as acting pastor. When the congregation was officially recognized, Rev. Howard Sortland was the first full-time pastor. In 1979, on the 25th anniversary, the building was modernized. The congregation was dissolved in 1986.

Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church

  • ELCA 1.8.1
  • Corporate body
  • 1860-1962

The Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church traces its beginning to a congregation formed by in 1848 Swedish immigrants in an area of Jefferson County Iowa known as New Sweden. The first ordained Swedish pastor to serve in the Midwest arrived in late 1849 to support the New Sweden congregation and establish Lutheran congregations in Illinois. As more Scandinavian immigrants arrived to the area, more Swedish Lutheran pastors were called. In June 1860, representatives of Swedish and Norwegian congregations met in Rock County, Wisconsin to found the Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod of North America. The Augustana Theological Seminary was soon established in Chicago. In 1870, the Norwegian withdrew from the Synod. Congregations were established in 35 states and 5 Canadian provinces organized into conferences and districts. In 1962, the Augustana Synod joined the AELC, the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the ULC to form the Lutheran Church in America.

Bethesda Lutheran Church (Portland, Oregon)

  • ELCA 6.2.5
  • Corporate body
  • 1947-1955

The Albina Lutheran Church was established by the Commission on Negro Missions of the American Lutheran Church on February 2, 1947. The name was changed to Bethesda Lutheran church on June 13, 1948. The congregation disbanded in 1955

Campus Ministry

  • UA 12.2.1
  • Corporate body

The Student Congregation of Pacific Lutheran College (PLC) was formed in 1955 through the combined efforts of President Eastvold, the PLC faculty and the student body. It was created with the intent to be a congregation made up of and run by the students of PLC, functioning under the Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELC). It functioned the same as any ELC congregation of the time, with a Church Council and its officers, a Board of Trustees to handle material matters, and a Board of Deacons of handle spiritual matters. The recently constructed Chapel-Music-Speech Building was to function as its place of worship, and the first pastor called to minister to the Student Congregation was Reverend Robert W. Lutnes.

Pastor Lutnes served as Pastor to the Student Congregation during its formative years, at first only overseeing the congregation and its needs, but by his final year (1958) acting as official advisor to all of the religious clubs on campus. Also in 1958, he was officially asked to assist the Dean of students in arranging speakers for the required Chapel services that took place four days a week in the Chapel-Music-Speech Building--a task that had previously been the responsibility of the Dean and the President.

Reverend John Larsgaard was called to be the second pastor to the Student Congregation in 1959. In 1960, Pacific Lutheran College became Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), and in 1962 President Eastvold resigned, to be replaced by Dr. Mortvedt. With the steady growth of the Student Congregation, the workload quickly became too heavy for one pastor to handle everything. Thus, a number of different Associate Pastors--many of them housefathers--were hired part-time to help ease the burden. They included Pastor "Pops" Malmin (housefather of Old Main (Harstad)), Pastor S.M. Moe (housefather in Ivy Hall), Pastor Alf Kraabel (housefather in Pflueger), and Joseph Shefveland (Foss Hall). By 1966 the work load became heavy enough that a second full-time pastor became necessary and Reverend Morris Dalton was called to be Associate Pastor to the Student Congregation.

In addition to his duties as Pastor to the University Congregation, Pastor Larsgaard was also University Chaplain, and therefore in charge of organizing Chapel. Ever since the Chapel-Music-Speech Building was built in 1952, all students had been required to attend Chapel four days a week. In 1966, though, the student body began to argue against mandatory Chapel attendance. Pastor Larsgaard agreed with the students, supporting voluntary Chapel for everyone, and the school year of 1967-1968 was the first year that students were not required to attend Chapel.

Both Pastor Larsgaard and President Mortvedt left PLU in 1969. President Mortvedt was replaced by Dr. Wiegman, and Pastor Larsgaard by Reverend Don Taylor. This was a time of upheaval and change at PLU. It was generally considered that the Student Congregation was not meeting the needs of the students on campus, and President Weigman felt that it was important to find alternate worship possibilities and a different form of organization for religious groups on campus. In response to this, the Religious Life Council was formed as a governing body for all religious groups on campus. Additionally, the Religious Life Council was given the authority to appoint ministers to the university. Thus, the ministers called to the University were no longer Pastors to the Student Congregation, but Ministers to the University at large, with the Student Congregation being only one of their responsibilities.

Following this change in structure, Pastor Dalton's contract was not renewed, and Pastor Taylor's was only renewed for one year. In 1971, Reverend Gordon Lathrop was called to be University Minister. He worked as the only pastor on campus for two years, though he had interns to help him with his duties. In 1973, the Student Congregation revised its constitution and changed its name to the University Congregation. In that same year, the workload again became too heavy for one pastor, even with the help of interns, and Reverend James Beckman was called to minister alongside Pastor Lathrop. During their two years together, the PLU administration reached a point of upheaval. President Wiegman took a leave of absence for his final year as University President, and Provost Jungkuntz took over for him. In 1975, Dr. William Rieke was chosen as PLU's next president.

Pastor Lathrop left PLU in 1975, and Reverend Donald Jerke was called to take his place. Pastor Jerke worked alongside Pastor Beckman until 1976, when Pastor Beckman died of cancer. That year Reverend Ronald Tellefson was called to be Campus Minister alongside Pastor Jerke. In 1978, the Religious Life Council revised its constitution and changed its name to the Campus Ministry Council. One year later, Pastor Jerke resigned his post as University Minister and accepted a position as Vice President for Student Life.

Pastor Tellefson stayed as University Minister for ten years. During that time the Beckman Memorial Lectureship Series was initiated in Memory of Pastor Beckman, the first being held in 1978. In 1980, Reverend Ron Pierre Vignec was called to be Associate Pastor. Together he and Tellefson saw the establishment of ties between PLU and Africa, the creation of the Chicago Folk Services, the 1982 Peacemaking Conference, and another revision of the Campus Ministry Council's constitution. Pastor Vignec left PLU in 1985, the same year that the University Congregation celebrated its 30th Anniversary. Pastor Tellefson stayed as Campus Minister until 1987, when he accepted the appointment as Director of Church and University Support at PLU.

In 1987, three University Ministers were called simultaneously to serve PLU. Reverends Daniel Erlander, Susan Briehl and Martin Wells ministered to PLU until 1994.

Columbia Conference of the Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod of North America

  • ELCA 1.8
  • Corporate body
  • 1860-1962

On June 5, 1860 in Clinton, Rock County, Wisconsin, twenty-six pastors and fourteen lay delegates from Lutheran congregations organized the Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod of North America. The Augustana Synod became the only Lutheran body in the United States that was supported by the Lutheran immigrants from Sweden. While based mainly in the Midwest, the Synod wanted to expand its outreach to the Western frontier. The Mission Board of the Synod in 1879 sent a call to Pastor Peter Carlson to do missionary work on the West Coast, specifically Portland, Oregon. Peter Carlson spent many years in the Northwest among several congregations. In 1882, the Mission Board was able to establish a Mission District on the West Coast. The Pacific Mission District was under the supervision of the Synodical Mission Board for five years. It included Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California, and Utah. The Mission District was divided into Northern and Southern Districts. Soon the Pacific Mission District felt that the Mission Board was too far away to look after the best interest of the District. They thought that the only was to solve this problem was to organize a conference of their own with the power to act. The Synod gave sanction and at a meeting of the whole District in Tacoma, Washington on April 9, 1888, the District organized itself into the Pacific Conference of the Augustana Synod. The newly formed Conference was divided into four districts which included the Puget Sound, Palouse, Columbia, and Los Angeles Districts.

A problem was discovered with the set-up of the conference, it was found that the long distances between the different districts prohibited regular annual meetings. At the third meeting of the conference it was decided to petition the Synod for permission to divide the conference into separate conferences. At a meeting in the Immanuel Church in Portland, Oregon on March 4, 1893, the Pacific Conference gathered for the last time to dissolve. After the final meeting, the delegation met from the North gathered and organized the Columbia Conference of the Augustana Synod. The constitution was kept the same except for the changed in the name and the territorial boundaries. Permanent officers were elected as well as an executive committee which also served as a Mission Board.

Daughters of Norway Embla Lodge No. 2

  • SIE 1.1.2
  • Corporate body
  • 1907-

Embla Lodge No. 2 was founded on 24 April 1907 in Tacoma, Washington, officially incorporated by the state as a nonprofit organization on 24 February 1908. The organization was chartered by the Sons of Norway and relied on the guidance of Valkyrian No. 1 lodge when they first started. Together with Valkyrian No. 1 and Freya No. 3 lodges, Embla Lodge No. 2 became part of the Grand Lodge Daughters of Norway on the Pacific Coast. Embla Lodge No. 2 was led by Sisters Laura Walstad, Minnie Holmes, Sofie Horn, Anna Krogh, and Lizzie Nelson for the first five years. Other prominent leaders were Sisters Marie Gunderson, Anna Christiansen, Martha Hegelstad, Anna Aarflot, and Jennie Olson Woog. In 1924, Sister Marie Gunderson was once again president, followed by Sister Clara Larsen. Each ruled for three years, and many joined during those years.

The name of the lodge, “Embla,” comes from the first woman of the human race, according to Norse mythology. Askr, the first man, and Embla were created from two trees on the seashore by three gods. The first god gave them life, the second god gave them understanding, and the third god gave them their physical appearance.

Embla Lodge No. 2 participates annually in the Scandinavian Heritage Festival in Puyallup, Washington, and also helps plan the annual Norwegian Festival at Pacific Lutheran University. They offer a variety of cooking classes at PLU in addition to various cultural programs held at the lodge.

Daughters of Norway Grand Lodge

  • SIE 1.1.1
  • Corporate body
  • 1908-

The first Daughters of Norway lodge was formed in Seattle, WA in 1905. In 1908 the Grand Lodge was organized to act as a coordinating organization for all the lodges.

The lodges provided an opportunity for Scandinavian immigrant women to enjoy the fellowship of other women of similar backgrounds.

Lodges in Alaska, the Midwest, and on the West Coast prospered. Many of the original lodges remain although the needs of the members have changed.

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

  • ELCA 2.1
  • Corporate body
  • 1988-

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was formed through a 1988 merger of the American Lutheran Church, the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches, and the Lutheran Church in America. The constituting convention was held in 1987 in Columbus, Ohio with an official inception date of January 1, 1988. The ELCA is organized into the following regions and synods:

Region 1: Alaska, Northwest Washington, Southwestern Washington, Northwest Intermountain, Oregon, Montana
Region 2: Sierra Pacific, Southwest California, Pacifica, Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountain
Region 3: Western North Dakota, Eastern North Dakota, South Dakota, Northwestern Minnesota, Northeastern Minnesota, Southwestern Minnesota, Minneapolis Area, Saint Paul Area, Southeastern Minnesota
Region 4: Nebraska, Central States, Arkansas-Oklahoma, Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana, Southwestern Texas, Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast
Region 5: Metropolitan Chicago, Northern Illinois, Central/Southern Illinois, Southeastern Iowa, Western Iowa, Northeastern Iowa, Northern Great Lakes, Northwest Synod of Wisconsin, East-Central Synod of Wisconsin, Greater Milwaukee, South-Central Synod of Wisconsin, La Crosse Area
Region 6: Southeast Michigan, North/West Lower Michigan, Indiana-Kentucky, Northwestern Ohio, Northeastern Ohio, Southern Ohio
Region 7: New Jersey, New England, Metro New York, Upstate New York, NE Pennsylvania, Southeastern Pennsylvania, Slovak Zion
Region 8: Northwestern Pennsylvania, Southwestern Pennsylvania, Allegheny, Lower Susquehanna, Upper Susquehanna, Delaware-Maryland, Metropolitan Washington, DC, West Virginia-Western Maryland
Region 9: Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Southeastern, Florida-Bahamas, Caribbean

Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Ohio

  • ELCA 1.4.1
  • Corporate body
  • 1818-1929

On September 14, 1818, the General Conference of the Evangelical Lutheran Preachers in Ohio and the Adjacent States was organized in Somerset, Ohio. In 1820, declined an invitation to join the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the USA. The group established a seminary in Canton, Ohio in 1830, which was transferred to Columbus the following year. In 1831, the body divided into an Eastern and Western District. The districts began meeting as a joint body for general conventions, leading to the name "Joint Synod" being adopted by the 1840s. Leaders of the Iowa Synod and the Joint Ohio Synod began meeting in 1883. The two synods merged, with other groups, to form the American Lutheran Church in 1930.

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